Thursday, December 6, 2007

Japanese Language for OFWs

Following the nursing and caregiving job opportunity offered by Japan to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Philippine government is planning to offer Japanese courses soon in vocational schools accredited with state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) according to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

She has ordered the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to work on details of such plan so this can be implemented as soon as possible. According to her, it would be very helpful for OFWs who are looking for job in Japan to enhance their competitiveness.

“We should also make arrangements for this program with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” the President said.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), founded in 1974, aims to implement Japanese technical assistance covering institution-building, strengthening of organizations and human resources development in various developing countries to help ensure sustainable socio-economic development.

The President aims to boost OFWs’ competitiveness since Philippines and Japan entered into a new partnership agreement known as 2006 Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). Through this agreement, both countries are expecting to increase flow of goods, persons, investments and services between.

This agreement also provides for protecting intellectual property rights, controlling anti-competitive activities and improving the business environment. It also covers cooperation in the fields of mutual interest like human resource development, financial services, information and communications technology, energy and environment, science and technology, trade and investment promotion, small and medium enterprises, tourism, transportation and road development of both countries.

International Trade Undersecretary Thomas Aquino of DTI expressed that JPEPA is a breakthrough for OFWs search for a better work abroad. He also added that this is the first time that Japan will allow Filipino caregivers to enter in Japan.

Japanese language training for nurses and caregivers is among projects cited in the component of JPEPA Human Resource Development. The President said that proficiency in the Japanese language is necessary for OFWs especially for caregivers aspiring to work in Japan since JPEPA opened up opportunities for them.

This article was first published in on October 29, 2006

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